The Greville Arms Hotel is one of the few surviving Irish Hotels known to James Joyce and immortalised by him in his writings. In ‘Stephens Hero’ we discover Stephen Daedalys, Joyce’s pompous young undergraduate, Garvey, the reporter from the Examiner and Nash, a friend of Stephen – a Dublin man who is apprenticed to a ‘druggist’ in Mullingar – seated in The Greville Arms Hotel, chaffing the barmaid who was indulging in ‘flirty, gossipy conversation’ with the young men. She admires Stephen more than the others who respond by counting the buttons on the blouse, which reveals her ‘very tempting figure’.
Many famous people were visitors to the Greville Arms Hotel as well as James Joyce, who visited the hotel in the 1900s and who revolutionised the treatment of plot and characterisation in fiction. His nephew Ken Monaghan unveiled the life size wax figure of James Joyce from the original death mask of Joyce in 1982 and it is now on permanent display in Ulysses Pub, which is named after James Joyce’s world-famous book. Jean Kennedy-Smith, sister of the President of the United States. She visited The Greville Arms Hotel herself to see the Kennedy Coin, which is in the Greville Arms Museum, located on the first floor of the hotel.
The world-renowned sculpture of Magdalene, by Antonio Canova 1757-1822 is one of the most famous sculptures in the art world and was carved out of pure carrara marble in 1820, for the British Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, 1770-1828 and is on display in the foyer of the hotel.
Have you visited The Greville Arms Hotel Museum yet?
The Museum displays a wide range of local historical artefacts and you can’t miss the portrait of the First Earl of Belvedere, Robert Rochford (1661-1727). He was the Speaker of the House of Parliament from 1695-1703 and the portrait also shows the Great Mace of Parliament in 1665, the only recorded portrait of this historical mace.
There is also, the Texas flag presented to the Friendship Fore of Mullingar which was flown over the state capital of Texas on St. Patrick’s Day 1987.
The famous Belvedere Bear Head brought home from the Tiam Shan mountains by Howard Bury to Belvedere House where it remained for a number of years, it was called ‘Adu’, is also on display in the museum.
The museum contains limestone fossils estimated to be 150 million years old. Pieces of meteorites over 10 billion years old and a piece of extremely rare Mars rock, including a Stone Age axe found in Killucan which is 4500 years old.
you can also see the first Irish coin that was minted in 995AD, fragments of early Celtic Art, a rare 8th Century Christian crucifixion are on display in the museum. Plus a man trap used for catching poachers, King James II coinage found at Lough Ennell & many other old coins.
There is also Ibexs brought from Mount Everest by Howard Bury, including many other artefacts and memorabilia and a letter by Winston Churchill from the war office, and many rare items and collections of artefacts are on view in the museum, including an early copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses book.
Old Greville Arms silverware, the old diary of Charles Howard Bury 1883-1963, which he wrote on the Everest Expedition and the dead man’s penny.
This Museum located on the first floor of the Greville Arms Hotel is part of Mullingar’s history and great heritage.